Liberals, Conservatives, and Freedom
August 15, 2008

by pegleghippie

When conservatives talk about ‘freedom,’ it’s very different from when I talk about ‘freedom.’ I think, fundamentally, conservatives are talking about the freedom to subjugate, while I mean freedom from subjegation.

I think this is also why the term ‘liberal’ is used in the modern sense (at least in America) to denote the left, while originally, it designated capitalist opposition to a monarch. Conservatives, originally, protected the idea of a monarch.

With regards to monarchy, the usage of the two terms, along with the idea of freedom, start to make more sense. A conservative idea of freedom is the freedom of the monarch: freedom to be as authoritative as that monarch desires, because hierarchy and authority are necessary for order and morality.

Naturally, equality conflicts with this type of freedom; without the opportunity to force others to bend to your will, you can’t institute order onto this scary, chaotic, competitive world. Only the king, or the aristocracy, or the CEO, or the capitalists elite can be free in their actions–the masses must be subjects of that authority.

‘Liberal’ pretty much means freedom, and I’m using it here to differentiate with “conservative freedom.” Liberal freedom depends on equality. If we are to be free from subjugation, then we must give up our opportunity to subjugate others. The ‘free’ part is where we can associate with others and work with them without fearing them or their intentions.

So next time you hear a conservative ranting about how social equality infringes on their freedom, realize they are defending a right to exploit and to ruin, without consent.

In which I fully embrace humanism
August 6, 2008

by pegleghippie
Today I realized, while looking at my uncontrolled, messy hair, that I really am an uncontrolled, messy person, in a good way. I’ve been viewing myself the same way since high school, that is, as simple, serious, reserved, and seeking respect. But that’s not me. I love my life now, and I love enjoying things for their own sake.
No longer do i desire to be respected, for people to meet me and say, “he seemed so serious about such-and-such.” I want people to meet me and go, “he exudes happiness and warmth.” I’m leaving that serious stuff behind, the reason being that I’ve found the serious to be incompatible with any positive emotions.
My serious nature from high school led me to study critical thinking. I still think critical thinking is incredibly important, but it’s a tool-all the logic in the world serves to make us happier. That’s the axiom:happiness. Or pleasure, or love, or whatever you want to call it; a word does not exist to encompass the scale of positive emotions as opposed to negative ones.

Why the focus on happiness? At a basic level, I’ve completely accepted that existence is absurd, and dammit, I find absurdity very funny. Even the statement, “life is absurd” is absurd as well.         

That leaves us free to do whatever we want with that absurdity; as for me, I have chosen to enjoy it. All morality, all social norms and laws, every taboo, even my beloved logic, these all only exist to help us deal with how meaningless existence is. I think we’ve over-regulated existence: our current norms often keep us from getting a good laugh at life. Instead, these norms should function as tools that empower us to do more with existence than we could on our own, and to explore new and different types of pleasure. 
fuck religion
Morality, for instance, is great as a guideline for how to get along with people without making them into enemies. That “getting along atmosphere” that morality provides has allowed for macro improvements like civilizations, as well as micro improvements like friendship. But when Morality is more than pleasure’s tool, you get things like christians hating gay people, or Orthodox Jews refusing to flip a light switch on the sabbath, or basically any negative aspect of organized religion.

So In conclusion, life is meaningless, your existence is absurd, and as far as I can tell, that’s the best news any of us could hope for.

Where was my big Victory Post?
June 6, 2008

I didn’t forget to post about Obama’s nomination. After the announcement that he clinched the nomination, I actually went into a frenzie of happiness much like an acid trip, (never been there jk jk) and passed out from then til juuust now.

As you can obviously tell, I’m not serious. I just got back from Transfer orientation at UNT. Which was productive albeit boring and humiliating.

But for now, the man of the hour!

That man right there is going to put America back on track.  This is 1968 in 2008. This is the 40th anniversary of progression. This is hope, people. This is change.

What the critics are calling empty rhetoric is a vision. What they mock as inexperience is a new outlook. What they wish to keep from you is freedom, success, wealth, and happiness.

We’re on the path for Universal Healthcare. If he chooses Hillary Clinton as his VP, which may or may not be the best choice, you can guarantee something’s going to get done there. The promises were too big… if they didn’t pull through on that, they’d never be re-elected.

We’re on the path for a more democratic nation. Special interests and lobbyists are taking the backseat now. The American people are going to navigate and this man, this vision, this change, has the wheel. We ripped off the rear-view mirror folks.

McCain has no chance. We’re all tired of Republican government. I’d be surprised if it isn’t a landslide victory. We can’t be stopped this year, or next year. We the people, in order to form THE more perfect union, have chosen Barack Obama to guide or foreign policy. A friend to Iran, an enemy to subversive terror groups, but more importantly, a friend to all people wishing democracy.

The nation nearly collapsed under Bush’s presidency. Who knows what may happen before November. Who knows what last minute destruction he’s going to inflict, out of stubborn ignorance, misinformation, foolish foreign policy, and terrible economic decisions.

What I do know is that come November, the dollar’s going to get stronger. The stock market’s going to go up. Our economy will be a little stronger just knowing that someone, finally someone qualified, is in the position.

We need you to vote, people. It’s not okay to assume that someone else’s vote is gonna carry. But we have time, and I’ll be writing about the importance of you getting out there to vote. i’ll write about the importance of every person who wants to change, to take an hour off of work, to find someone to watch your kids, to turn off the television. I’ll give you instructions on registering to vote. I’ll personally assist anyone who wants help learning how to vote, from 18 year old first-time voters, to 50 year old citizens who’ve never voted in their life.

Go to barackobama.com and make a donation of 25 dollars. That’s an hour of work for our better off viewers, a lawn mowed by our younger readers, or a birthday present from Gramma Pat. Give Obama a fighting chance against McCain, who relies on 50,000 dollar checks from PAC’s and special interests. The DNC has agreed not to accept any money from PAC’s or special interests, and relies on the American People. Because this is your president.

It’s time to play the game. Let’s turn all those states.

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April 27, 2008

by pegleghippie

FUCK advertisements.

I’ve hated ads for as long as I can remember.  When I was little and I refused to wear the same clothing brands that I saw my schoolmates wearing.  I still do this actually, only instead of avoiding “Bugle Boy” I avoid “abercrombe and Fitch.”  Anyway, back to when I was young:  popular brands were evil, I thought things had to be slightly obscure to be of quality.  Maybe it was some sense of superiority that I derived from being different, or maybe my intuition really was way ahead of the curve.  Either way, avoiding the popular has proven a winning strategy.  

The reason that advertising is an awful, dreadful thing, is because making decisions based on ads is no way to make a decision.  It’s a way to act but not think.  Going along with what is marketed towards our particular ‘focus group’ is to live as a drone, or a slave.  Sure, you’re ‘free’ to decide things for yourself, but without any reflection then freedom merely makes your wallet an easy target for some corporation’s bottom line.  

My roommate asked me (read: forced me) to take this survey about cereal.  I think he’s comparing what cereals adults eat and what the corresponding sugar level is.  So the question was, which of these cereals are ‘adult’ cereals.  I asked if he wanted me to mark the ones that I like to eat, and he said no, mark the ‘adult’ ones.  “But I’m an adult!” I objected.  That’s not enough, which cereals sound adult.  

What he meant, of course, was which cereals are marketed towards adults.  I thought, “you don’t need me to fill out a survey for that.  Look it up!”  Since I’ve spent my life daydreaming whenever an ad comes on, it took me 30 minutes to finish the damn survey.  All I did was pick the ones with plain-sounding names, cause I think that’s what the advertisers want:  kids need creativity and fun, but adults need to be responsible and healthy.  It was complete bullshit, trying to get into some anonymous marketer’s head, and I would have been just as honest if I had simply checked off every 5th name.  This was torturous to go through.

My roommate’s not a real marketer though.  A real marketer would have asked people of different age groups what cereal they liked, and why.  Then he/she would have compared.  In that situation, of course, I would lie my ass off, because bad data means bad ads, and bad ads make people take notice, and, for one brief second, think about what they see.  They stop taking orders, if only for a moment.  And that’s what we really need: to stop taking orders and fucking make this world for ourselves.

(((((((Side note)))))))) The above clip is the late great Bill Hicks.  I got his Sane Man DVD today, and something else he said relates to my final point.  he said, All those people who made the borders and countries and rules and restrictions that hold us back: They’re dead!  Go out and make you’re own fucking world.